Let's Make Robots!

Atmega + camera.

I have thought about atmega + camera idea too, but for use on atmega not sending. I looked at CMUcam but it wasn't so low-cost as it was advertised (100$ it too much). I found http://www.robotshop.us/sfe-cmos-camera-640-480.html . It seems cheap, microcontroller friendly and so on. Only problems are - SMD connections, killer programming and impossible debuging.

 

So, all thoughts and good links are welcome.

Modular robot kits

Is there any robotshop that sells modular robot kits? Like in the video. It would be fun to play around with punch of such modules. Although they are simple enough to build by yourself too.

constant current and voltage source for charging

i have 5V current source and I want to charge 3 cell NiCd pack with it. Idea is to charge with voltage ~4.2 and current ~90mA. I know this circuit can be made with one transistor or less but i havn't found anything useful yet. Can anyone help, povide schematics or ideas?

Breaking PICs

How can i make sure that my PIC is functional? I use PIC16F88 and PicKit2. I connected PIC with my robot and programmed couple of times. Suddenly all programming fails and I get error "Unsupported Part (ID=3FE0)". I googled it and everyone said it is a power error. I took PIC away from robot and used breadboard to connect it with PicKit. No other components were used. It still showed error when trying to program. When i clicked "Check communication" PicKit found the PIC but if i try to program it doesn't.